In the lineage of Ramana Maharshi and H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji), Gangaji has been sharing her message of peace and freedom around the globe for 25 years. Her influence extends to all of the contributors you see featured here, many of whom now teach internationally. In this lead article she shares her views on women as spiritual leaders, on the experience of being fully awake and fully human, and on taking responsibility, as awakened human beings, for our time here on Mother Earth.
For many thousands of years, our model of spiritual authority has been primarily male. With extraordinary exceptions, the phenomenon of women as spiritual teachers is still relatively new. I had many male teachers, and my guru was male, so I can appreciate this. I also love and appreciate masculine energy in general.
Throughout the years I have seen people discount me as a teacher simply because of a conditioned prejudice that authority figures should be male. This is simply part of the experience of being a teacher in female form.
However, I also have recognized at times that certain people come to hear me speak because they are conceptually more comfortable with a female teacher. It’s also possible that they then move on because I am not feminine enough for their tastes. I actually experience myself as a fairly masculine type of woman.
For most people, of course, the gender of the teacher doesn’t matter. What matters are the teacher’s core message and the resonance that they feel with that message. They find themselves drawn to something that can’t be delineated into masculine or feminine.
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